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Patient choice in elective care increased emergency readmissions

BMJ 2019; 365 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.l1793 (Published 15 April 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;365:l1793
  1. Nigel Hawkes
  1. London

Introducing competition into the NHS in England to try to drive up quality had the perverse effect of lowering it for some elective procedures, a team of economists from Surrey and York universities has found.

In a paper presented this week at the Royal Economic Society’s conference in Warwick, the authors said that emergency readmissions after hip and knee replacements rose after patient choice was introduced between 2006 and 2008.1 Greater numbers of emergency readmissions imply a lower quality of care.

Emergency readmissions after hip replacements rose by 8.5% and after knee replacements by 7.7%, …

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